Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Home & Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a family holiday. We are headed to Berlin to celebrate the time with Mike & Debby Edwards. There is plenty of snow on the ground and in the forecast, so it should be a great time on the road and in Berlin.

Emily, one of Matt’s friends from Wheaton, wrote a bit on a topic (Home) that I have thought about, but stuck away in the back of my mind/heart because sometimes it can be really painful. At the same time it is incredibly comforting. Go figure.

I didn't really think about 'home' too much when I went to OSU because I generally returned home every weekend. I wrestled with it a bit when we moved to South Carolina, but it was still possible to jump in the car for a weekend road trip back to Ohio.

Then came Poland. No return.

I read that you can never step twice into the same river. Ohio changed. I’ve changed. I can't return to that Ohio 'home' expecting it all to be the same...and my kids don't even have those roots to look back on. Recently, I was talking on the phone with Tim, who was acknowledging a bit of 'homesickness' in his heart. He said something like, “I didn't expect this. I'm an MK. I mean, where is home?”

I’ve got six kids, but I still can’t fully understand the life of a person who grows up in the home of missionaries overseas.

It adds texture to the idea of being a 'stranger and pilgrim' in this world when you've lived outside of the state where you were born. I mean, if you haven’t moved around, sold, given away or just thrown away your stuff…If you haven’t felt the raw void in your heart of a relationship that will never be the same because of the distance, how can you connect ‘pilgrim’ to anything other than Thanksgiving or John Wayne?

Home and pilgrims and all that stuff, it’s not about things, geography or language. I think it comes down to relationships. It’s not the house I grew up in or where I used to hunt quail with Dad. Home is not a house—it’s those few people with whom I’ve shared the deepest parts of my heart and life.

I'm slightly tweaked at Emily for posting this right before Thanksgiving. She uprooted things in my heart that were neatly tucked away. (Thanks, Emily =]) Matt & Tim and my sister with her family, they're all at my parents' house this week. Tim is probably hunting with Dad, too. (expletive removed)

As deep and sweet and painful (I'm crying right now) as those feelings are, they help me understand that the profound longings and emotions in my heart are not to be stifled, but they point me to Christ.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Todd. It was extremely well written. Good insights!
Happy Thanksgiving!
~Rhonda Reynard

emily said...

Aahhh... now I'm crying, too :-)

My friend Christina is in this co-op where people take turns talking, and you use hand signals to indicate what you're thinking as they talk, like pointer finger raised for a question, thumbs down for I'll leave if you don't stop, etc. They have one where you nod your fist to say, "I agree with everything you're saying".

That's what I'm totally mentally doing for your entire post.

Shannon said...

I am currently trying to learn some lessons from God on vulnerability, and your post is a fine example.

Thank you for your fine thoughts on "home," and let yourself grieve. It will only be for a season.